What to do with a chronic cougher? I am embarressed to go out in public
b/c people stare at the awful mom who takes her sick kid out. He's fine
otherwise. He just NEVER stops coughing (keeps me up all night).
I know this well.. I have a son who does this too.
Cough in kids can have many causes. The most obvious ones are illness (colds, flu). Coughs from upper respiratory infections shouldn't last any more than a couple of weeks at the most. If the cough continues then you need to look at other causes.
Other common causes of chronic cough in children are asthma and allergies. Is the cough all the time? Coughs that only happen at night or are much worse at night are often caused by post nasal drip. When you lay flat, the cough gets worse because of the drip in the back of the throat. This is very annoying!
Kids can also cough from allergies. Does the cough only happen in certain places (like home where the is a pet?) or at certain times of the year (spring pollen?) If this is the case then allergy medication can be very effective.
Asthma is a huge cause of chronic cough. Albuterol inhalers can be helpful, even if the child doesn't wheeze. Kids who are exposed to cigarette smoke are more likely to develop asthma.
Sometimes kids will get an upper respiratory infection and then cough. All the symptoms get better but the cough doesn't go away and the cough and cough and cough and cough.. this is my son. These kids are usually kids with mild asthma. In this case, steroids are your friend.
Other kids may cough as a habit. This can be very fustrating!
Talk to your health care provider about chronic cough, there are many causes and many different things to try. It definitely isn't normal for a kid cough all the time so it needs further investigation.
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